I recently returned from my yearly visit to Florida to have a break from the winter’s cold in NY; more so to become closer to my sister, Constance, whom I love, despite our differences.
She’s religious; I’m spiritual.
I’m attracted to men; she avoids dating.
She has 5 children; I have two.
She’s been divorced once after a 30 year marriage; I’ve been divorced four times, my longest-together-marriage being 6 years. Our overwhelming commonality is sharing a bedroom until I was 16, she was a year younger.
Constance tells me how I hurt her by chasing her around her twin bed, acting like a scary vulture, my hands curled grotesquely in the air. I own it and say ‘I’m sorry’ more than once….now aware that I was acting out my own hurt, with angry helplessness over being constantly criticized by my mother who did not want me. (I’m a child of an acquaintance rape.) Yet, I was saved by my daddy’s love; who chose to keep me, and adopt me, as I am not his biologically.
My parents met on the ship Huddleston, on their return home to America when WWII ended. My mother was the nurse who took care of her patient, my soon-to-be-dad. They had fallen in love.
They married after I was born. When I became an adult, my mother told me that she had fallen out of love, saying, “I shouldn’t have married him.” (Thank goodness she did! I say to myself.) Still, they co-created two more children, my younger sister and brother.
Although I have gathered several photos of my mother and father’s early days together, even their wedding portrait, none carry the feeling of love I can see and feel when I discovered a photo I’d never seen before. It was my last day while visiting my sister (April 2016); found amidst some photos on the table next to the bed I slept in. It’s small 2″ by 2″ size portrays a much larger love: their arms holding each other, while smiling; he in his army uniform, and she dressed in the rosy-cheeked ‘falling in love’ feeling…sadly, her first impression was short-lived but my impression of my daddy continues to enlarge my love for him.